Thinking about the end of life, whether for yourself or a loved one, can be very difficult. It can help to have a guide to the various areas that will ensure all the important aspects have been covered.
Here, we summarise the main points to consider when planning how you’re cared for and what you would like to happen when you die.
Making a will
A will is a legal document that sets out instructions about who should inherit your property, money, and belongings after you die.
There are lots of good reasons to make a will. These include:
- To make sure that your possessions and money are distributed according to your wishes
- If you have children under 18, to specify how they are to be cared for
- To outline what type of funeral you’d like and what should be done with your remains (e.g. burial or cremation)
- If you die without a will, your estate will be distributed according to strict rules, meaning that your loved ones may not be provided for or benefit as you would want
It is important to keep your will up to date. Circumstances change and so do our wishes. We suggest reviewing your will every 3-5 years to make sure it still accurately reflects your wishes.
We can help
You can write your own will, but it is recommended that you see professional help to ensure that it’s done properly. We offer all our clients a free will writing service. Please get in touch for more details.
Power of attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document that identifies a person or persons to act on your behalf if you’re not able to make decisions.
It is not necessary to use a solicitor to create a power of attorney. The application forms are on the government’s website with guidance on how to fill them out. However, it’s wise to get legal help if you're unsure about the process, or your affairs are complex.
There are two types of power of attorney:
Ordinary power of attorney
An ordinary power of attorney is appropriate for a temporary period of time, for example if you have to go into hospital, if you find it difficult to get out or if you want someone to act on your behalf. This document covers your financial affairs and is valid while you have mental capacity.
Lasting power of attorney (LPA)
A lasting power of attorney or LPA, covers decisions about your financial affairs, or your health and care. This comes into effect if you lose mental capacity, or if you no longer want to make decisions for yourself.
We can help
Please let us know if you are unsure whether you require a power of attorney setting up or if you need help finding a solicitor. We can recommend some excellent local firms that will be very happy to help you.
Paying for your funeral
A key end of life consideration is how your funeral is paid for. An effective way to protect against inflation and for peace of mind is to take out a funeral plan. This allows you to pay up front for your funeral, ensuring that there’s minimal cost when the time comes.
Exactly what is covered in a plan varies depending on the provider, so it’s worth checking that the plan you choose covers everything that’s important to you.
We can help
We offer a plan from Golden Charter, the UK’s largest independent provider. Information about the plan can be found on our web page here but please do get in touch with us if you have any questions.